Pretoria News article on Cornelia & cats:
The following article appeared on the front page of Pretoria News, 6 May 1998:
... and zooming in a little bit on the wording of the article itself:
The Waltloo SPCA has pledged to provide assistance to fight the "eviction" of pets from a Silverton block of flats.
The rights of a mentally disabled woman who was ordered to rid her apartment of the cats she adopted as her "children" will be especially hard fought for, said Waltloo SPCA chief executive officer Dave Venter.
Once an active adrenalin junkie, Cornelia Raath (28) built her entire life around her three cats when the right side of her brain was damaged in a motorcycle accident in 1996.
"Tom, Jerry and Charcoal are my children ...the accident has left me unable to have children of my own and I will keep my cats no matter what the cost," said the former CSIR electronic engineer.
When she bought her flat in 1994, Ms Raath was told she may keep the cats as other residents of Kingswood also had pets. Her contract did not disallow it either, she said.
Ms Raath was this week dealt a nasty blow when she received a letter from a city law firm giving her seven days to get rid of her cats or face legal action. "I will ignore this order as it is unfair ... my cats do not bother anyone."
A nearby neighbour, Catharina Swart, who has been notified to get rid of her Maltese poodle Princess, will also defy the order.
"Our dog has been taught to use a litter box like a cat, never barks or makes a noise and plays with our young children ... she is part of the family and moved to the flat with us more than a year ago," she said.
The landlord of the block and chairman of the body corporate Dawid Hebler - who keeps a canary in his flat - refused to comment. He sent a letter to residents stating that "all animals" must be removed from the property.
Mr Venter said the SPCA viewed the eviction of the pets as an immoral act. "We are prepared to make a donation towards the legal costs."